Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 89, 365 Day Project.

We finally have had some spring like weather here in Calgary (although they are saying more snow on the weekend). With the boys off of school and Lysa at home I decided to take a walk around our house to see what I will have to do once it warms up and dries up. Taking my camera with me I started looking at the leaves that were on the pathway beside and behind us and found some interesting images with ice and water as well. The top shot and the first one below were created in the shade of our fence. It felt a little like taking aerial images as I hovered over the leaves. For both of these shots I was at 400 ISO, 1/60 second @ f7.1 with the Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens.

I then moved into the sun and followed the stream of water down the path and looking at the leaves that hung up along the way. I liked the way the water was flowing around them so I changed the ISO to 100 and then adjusted the shutter speed to 1/80 sec. and f11 for the brighter situation.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 88, 365 Day Project.

For your consideration, three images, all of the same subject but with slight variations. When thinking about what I wanted to do for today's image I started looking around to see what I have. I saw this old 2 inch lens from a 16 mm movie projector sitting on my shelf and I got to thinking what would happen if I pointed a light source through it, what would happen? So I took it along with my Quantas Koala photographer figurine to the studio to experiment. Placing the Koala on a white piece of foam core I then preceded to clamp the 2 inch lens in place using a magic arm on a stand. Next I set my Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens on the tripod with the cable release and framed up my subject. I then went and retrieved a small LED flashlight that I received from Canon at their booth at PhotoPlus in New York last fall. It has nine little LED's in it and gives a nice light. Having worked with small flashlights in the past I figured the exposure would be around 1/40 sec at f5.6 @ 1600 ISO. Projecting the flashlight through the projector lens gave this wonderful light pattern and after the first exposure I adjusted my settings to 1/60th at f7.1. I played with the patterns created thus the three images. I like the top image the best as it looks like a flower. However I also did like the more theatrical lighting look created on the two images below. The different patterns were cast by moving the flashlight closer and farther from the projector lens thus changing the sharpness. After taking the images I brought the files into photoshop. Now not knowing what the white balance of the LED's would be I choose to shoot at the daylight setting (roughly 5500K). However this was to blue when I opened the raw files so I adjusted the balance up to 7700K to clean up the whites a bit more. It was fun to experiment, and I would be interested in hearing which of the three you prefer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 87, 365 Day Project.

We have peacocks that live in the forest around our house in Kerala, India. So when we were there last time Lysa wanted a peacock ornament to take home. I brought it down to the studio and in order to make the colors on the feather pop I decided to use a warm background. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8, 1/125 sec, 100 ISO, one Balcar strobe with Chimera small strip softbox to the side.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 86, 365 Day Project.

Tonight was the last shooting night for my advanced studio lighting class. We revisited High Key and Low Key as those are the first two classes I teach them in basic before they have a chance to have worked with the studio lights and subjects. By now they have had at least 8 shooting sessions and 10 if they have completed all the classes I teach. We were short some subjects for out class so I went out in to the rotunda and found a group of students who were just chatting and I asked if one of them might be interested in coming to be a subject for my students. To my surprise 5 of them said yes and followed me down to the classroom. They were a lot of fun to photograph considering they had not planned to be there. Here are two of the images I created on the low key set up. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8 and 70mm, 1/125 sec, 100 ISO.

Day 85, 365 Day Project.

When I took up this challenge I knew it would be hard, but one of the things I did not anticipate was what would happen if I fell sick and could not physically create my image that day. It almost happened yesterday as I was not feeling well for most of the day. Any way, after I got my boy's off to bed and rested for a while I realized I was running out of time. I went to the kitchen and took our jar of straws, put them on some purple material that my wife has and shot a quick image with my iPod touch. I then used the Instagram app to process it and post it to my Facebook and Twitter pages so I can keep the streak alive. It was not till this afternoon (Monday) that I felt well enough to come online and post to the blog. Will be posting today's shot after tonight's lighting class.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 84, 365 Day Project.

So this is spring in Calgary, eh. I have lived here all my life and I can't remember winter hanging on so long. The forecast calls for at least a day or two of this and it sure dampens ones mood. As I write this we have blowing snow and - 6C outside, boy I am hoping the weather changes soon. Today's image I shot from the 4th floor of the SAIT tower looking towards downtown. This image could have been doe in B&W as the scenery is very monochromatic.

Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f4.5, focal length 24mm, 1/400 sec at 100 ISO.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 83, 365 Day Project.

Well we are still in the grip's of winter even though the calendar says it is spring. On my walk with Cool to school you could feel the humidity in the air and as we walked passed this chain link fence I saw these wonderful crystals forming. So after getting him to school I walked home and went inside and retrieved my camera. I crossed the street to the field and started looking at the patterns of ice crystals and fence. It was very overcast so there was very little contrast and the one thing I had to watch in composing was the background through the fence. I tried in this case of the top and second image to use the snow on the field as the background. These two images were shot at f8, 1/60 sec at 200 ISO with the Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens.

I then walked back to the house and noticed the wonderful ice crystals that had formed on the roses in the flower bed in front of our house. The wind had picked up a bit and the roses were swaying so I upped my ISO to 800 and my shutter speed to 1/250 and opened the aperture to f5.6. This allowed me to freeze the movement and also give a shallower depth of field to minimize the background. The last 5 images are from this series.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 82, 365 Day Project

Well I said there would probably be some images of my son Cool when I started this project 82 days ago. After all I am a very proud papa and he is such a sweet boy. He is very outgoing and loves to perform, thus he is in a three choirs and recently took up Jazz dancing 2 months ago. Tonight was parent watching night at his class so I thought I would try to get a few shots. I was very impressed with how well he is doing and how quickly he seems to have picked up the moves. The other children have been going since September and Cool did not look out of place at all. I am so glad that he enjoys these activities.
Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8 at 46 mm, 1/320 sec, 3200 ISO.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 81, 365 Day Project

Time for a little Rorschach test. What do you see as you look into the flames? I see a Bull's Face, a Dove and outstretched arms.
I created today's image using the camera on my iPod touch and using the mirror portion of the Pictureshow app. I found the subject at the new McCaig tower at the Foothills Medical Centre here in Calgary. My boy's and I had gone over to an open house for the new ICU that Lysa will be working in after the move over in April. The building is spectacular and the facilities are top notch. There is also a more friendly and open environment there and this was taking in the waiting area near the admitting desk. Besides lots of comfortable seating there is an extra long dual sided fireplace. I did a few shots of the flames which looked neat on their own, but when I brought it in to the app and saw this, I knew I had my image.
Hope you enjoy and we will send you the results of your psych test after we hear your interpretation.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 80, 365 Day Project

Well spring has been a long time coming and last night we had more snow come down once again. This morning I had to go out and shovel the 4 inches or so off the driveway. As I did I noticed this one plant sticking up from our flower bed and the pattern on the rock behind. I decided this would make a nice shot for today and went to get my camera. The above image was made with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f8, 1/100 sec, 200 ISO, focal length of 30mm and white balance on overcast. I was laying down in the snow with the camera just a few inches of the ground to capture this photograph.

Below are two images I quickly took with the camera in my iPod touch. Note the difference in colour between the two. I then processed the bottom image with the "pictureShow" app and the dark cinema setting and pinhole effect with black border.

All three have a certain uniqueness to them that I like and thus I choose to show all three.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 79, 365 Day Project

The lovely Amber was a subject for my Advanced Lighting class at SAIT this evening. Tonight we used flourescent light fixtures to create a ring of light that the students shot through. The bulbs were 5000K so the white balance could remain at daylight. ISO was set to 400, shutterspeed was 1/60th sec., at f5.6 Shot with the Canon 7D and 24-70 f2.8 lens at 70 mm.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 78, 365 Day Project

I received this little Canon flashlight from their booth at WPPI last month. I decided to make it the subject for today's image and do a little experimenting as well. Placing the flashlight on a black muslin I framed it up how I wanted with my Canon 7D on a tripod. I set the camera to bulb and shut of the lights in the studio. Total time that the shutter was open is 46 seconds but two exposures were made in this time. The first was with another small flashlight to shine on the Canon one. I then covered the lens and carefully turned on the Canon flashlight so not to move it and then removed the lens cap and shut the shutter in one motion to have the front lit up. It took two tries as I learned from the first one how quick I had to do the second exposure, but nailed it the second try. Lens was 24-70 f2.8 at f22, ISO 400 and focal length of 70mm.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 77, 365 Day Project

I had a very busy day today. Family photo shoot in the morning. Taught my Wedding Photography class at SAIT in the afternoon. In the evening we attended Cool's choir concert . Had so many images to choose from, but I settled on this one from my class at SAIT. Kealy was part of a couple that volunteered to be photographed by my class. We had two couples and an individual so this allowed me to split the class into smaller groups. I gave them all a basic demonstration and then went to each group to observe and give ideas/advice. While working on one of the catwalks I saw this lovely light coming through the railings and immediately thought of an idea for the bride by herself. I directed Kealy how to sit and then had her move her head and body till the light fell where I wanted it to. The result I felt was very pleasing.
Canon 7D, 70-200 f2.8 @ f8, 1/250 sec at 800 ISO. Focal length 70mm.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 76, 365 Day Project

Another image using the iPod touch and bringing it in to "Pictureshow" to work on. These shells we purchased in Hawaii hang in our hallway and I was looking at them and thought I might be able to create something with them. The light is from a flash light that projected the shadow on the ceiling. I choose a sepia color with the pin hole effect to achieve the look I wanted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 75, 365 Day Project

Well 75 days in to this project and still trying new things. I had been thinking of doing a Triptych for a while and was just waiting for a nice enough day to go out and shoot. I also wanted to try to shoot in the Monochrome mode on my 7D as I wanted to try and think in B&W once again. In my film days I was know for my B&W images but since switching to digital I have been working only in colour. I know we can convert in photoshop, but there is something different when you have a mindset to create in B&W.
So for today's image I switched to monochrome and in this instance also added the red filter in the settings (to give more drama to the sky). I set up on a tripod on a bridge over the Elbow river by Lindsay Park and shot three images. I loved the fact that some geese flew through the middle image. Today I also choose my Canon 10-22 f3.5-4.5 lens set @ f9.0 for 1/125 second at 100 ISO and a focal length of 13mm.
I had a lot of fun rediscovering this style of imagery and plan to do a lot more.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 74, 365 Day Project

It use to be that to be creative with imagery in the day's of film required you to be a bit of a darkroom technician. You had to know how to push, pull, cross process film. You had to understand burning, dodging, bleaching, toning, staining and a variety of other methods to prints. You had to retouch negatives and prints. The whole thing was time consuming, requiring patience and when you had to that the hazards of the chemicals used it was dangerous as well.

Enter the digital world and photoshop. We now found a safe and speedy way of reworking out images to get creative results. Still it is a slow and meticulous process that does have a bit of a learning curve.

Today with the advent of cameras in phones, gaming systems (Nintendo DS) and devices intended originally for listening to music (iPod's) and the quality of those devices becoming strong enough to make wonderful images a whole new world of opportunities is opened. With that we have the development of Apps that can perform a variety of tasks, looks and styles that are in essence mini-darkrooms. And with these apps we can take, process, change and publish our images in seconds. It has expanded our creative opportunities.

My images for today were taken with my iPod touch and then processed with two different app's. The first, third and forth images were done in "Pictureshow" and the second with "Instagram". I first set out in the short time I had while Luke was in playschool to find something interesting to shoot. I choose to concentrate on the slide in the playground. I first did the reflection seen in the last two images. Then I climbed to the top for the one used in the first two. Heading into the community centre I then sat down and opened each app and went through a variety of possibilities before settling on the ones seen here. Pictureshow seems to have the most variety and I am looking forward to exploring it more. Instagram is nice and has some good features, but just not the range. However I can see using these more as well as other's as I expand my photographic repertoire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 73, 365 Day Project

Tonight while waiting for Cool at his rehearsal for Saturday's concert I decided to walk around the church where they will perform looking for some abstract images. I found this at the front of the church at the base that holds the cross at the top. I liked the power of the triangles that were formed by the dark and light paint and the shadows that were being cast as well.
Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f13, 1/160 sec at 400 ISO.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 72, 365 Day Project

Today's images are from my SAIT advanced lighting class. The topic was "Painting with Light" and our lovely subject was Alora. I teach this style to my advanced students to help them add new tools to their box of tricks and to show them that you can use a variety of tools to light a subject. The first image was only created using a flash light as the light source. In this case it was a Maglight with black cine foil around it to act as a snoot. The pose is one of my favorites to demonstrate this technique, but tonight's outfit was absolutely my favorite for doing this style. To produce this shot I first told Alora how I wanted to move. Then we shut off the lights and everyone opened their shutters (all these images were on the bulb setting, f8, 400 ISO, my white balance was set to daylight). The first image I painted her entire figure moving the flashlight slowly up her. Once completing the first position, she moved her arms to position number two (middle) and I painted each arm stopping just below the shoulders. The position number 3 (arms above) and repeated step two. Shutters were then closed. and the lights turned back on. Exposure time for this image was 39 seconds.

For this image I took one off the survey triangles that were lying around the room and wrapped it in a rope light. Again I positioned Alora in a way that I felt was pleasing and would work with the object. Again the lights were shut off and the shutters opened, this time for 19 seconds (although the rope light was only plugged in for 4 seconds, took time finding the connection in the dark).

The final image was a suggestion of one of the students to gel the flash light. A long piece of white silk was waved in front with the flashlight hitting it at various points. Alora then positioned herself and a quick burst from a 580 EX II Speed light at 1/8th power and a Gary Fong Power snoot lit her. I love the effect seen here. Exposure time was 61 seconds.
All images were with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 using the OnOne DSLR remote app and server software hooked up to my lap top and triggered by my iPod touch.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 71, 365 Day Project

Today my 5 month hold niece Jayden had her baptism. There were 8 other children who also had their baptism as well making for a very packed house. Could only shoot quickly with on camera flash. This image though was one I liked from the ceremony and I think my sister and brother-in-law look good. I also liked the way that Jayden was mesmerized by the flame on the candle.
Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f4, 60mm focal length at 1/60th sec at 400 ISO.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 70, 365 Day Project

Arlen and Becky were two of our volunteers as subjects for today's wedding photography class that I teach at SAIT. This is one of the images I created while demonstrating how to work with a couple quickly. A little different for me as I am trying to learn to crop tighter for these types of portraits.
Lighting was two Balcar Mini-Z heads with umbrellas side by side at camera position to create a wall of light. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f11, 1/125 sec at 100 ISO.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 69, 365 Day Project

We picked up this Ukulele on our last trip to Hawaii 3 years ago. I brought it down to the studio and set it up on a black piece of muslin and lit id with a Balcar studio head and a 3 degree grid spot. Using only the modeling light I shot from a low angle with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.9 @ f2.8 for 1/400 sec at 4000 ISO white balance set to tungsten.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 68, 365 Day Project

This old lens has been with me for two decades now and sits quietly in the corner of my office on my Zone VI 4x5 field camera. It produces the most exquisite images but now sits as a collectors piece as digital has replaced it in my life. Still I plan to pull it out this summer dust it off and shoot some new photo's with it. The one thing I learned from working with this camera and lens was to slow down, plan the image and compose it properly. So if you see me on the streets of Calgary with the old dark cloth over my head, stop by and say "Hi".
Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f2.8, 1/160 sec at 12,800 ISO. Illuminated with the fluorescent tubes in my office and white balanced to match.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 67, 365 Day Project

Cool created this interesting sculpture the other night using a fork, paper cup cone, tape; plastic tape core and playdough. I though he had been very creative and know I wanted to photograph it so he can have a record of it. So I took it down to the studio and since it looks like a lamp I knew exactly how I wanted to shot it.
I placed it on black muslin close to the edge of the table and then set my Canon 7D on a tripod, set it to bulb and placed the cable release on it. Using the 70-200 f2.8 I set the f-stop to f8 and zoomed in to 110mm from 1.4 meters away. Shutting of the lights I opened the shutter for 19 seconds and used a flashlight with a cine foil snoot fashioned around it for a narrow beam of light. I got down low and shone the flashlight up into the cone to give the feeling of a light bulb inside the sculpture. White balance was set to tungsten, but I added some warmth back to the image in photoshop.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 66, 365 Day Project

Again inspired by others who are doing this project I have chosen to look for the everyday object and try and make something interesting of it. We have so many tools at our disposal today and they are quick, clean and environmentally friendly. Today's image was shot while waiting for Cool at his choir practice. Using my iPod touch I composed the image to have the bricks add converging lines to the fire extinguisher. I then brought the photo into Pictureshow to add a vignette, some saturation and adding rough edges gave me the shot that I was looking for.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 65, 365 Day Project

Today's image was created during my advanced lighting class at SAIT. The technique is combining both strobe and hot light. The strobe here is a Balcar Mini Z with a small Chimera strip softbox set for f5.6 to light the subject. The background is a halogen portable work light with a piece of cardboard cut to act as a cookie. Shutter speed is 0"4 of a second thus creating the movement in the arm. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ 100 ISO.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 64, 365 Day Project

Cool was sitting in the living room this afternoon playing on his laptop when I noticed this wonderful window light coming in on him. Besides the light from the window there was a nice bounce fill from the direct sun off the carpet. Grabbing the camera I took a couple of quick, tight images. Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f9, 1/50 sec at 800 ISO.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 63, 365 Day Project

I kind of liked the oriental feel of this soap dish and the new bar of soap with the ridges on top really caught my eye. Brought them down to the studio and lit them with one Balcar light and a 3 degree grid spot. Shot only using the modeling light with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f5 for 1/30 sec at 2000 ISO.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 62, 365 Day Project

I've been going a little stir crazy sitting in the house during this recent cold snap. The weather has been down right miserable with -35C wind chills and grey skies. I was feeling the blues and really needed to get out for a walk. Fortunately today the opportunity presented itself as I had an hour and a half between dropping Luke of at playschool and picking Cool up from school. The sun was shining and the temperature had warmed to -14C so I headed down to Princess Island which is on the edge of Calgary's downtown core. I was hoping that there would be some open water and some ducks to photograph but that did not pan out.

So I went for a walk around the islands to see what winter images I could find. The above caught my eye and I zoomed in on these leaves that had fallen and were sticking out of the snow. I love the color and the texture of the leaves against the white snow. Shot with the Canon 7D, 70-200 f2.8 @ f11, 1/320 sec at 200 ISO handheld.

As I walked along I came across this little fellow below scampering through the snow. I edged up as close as I could and since he was running from sun to shade I switched aperture priority and F5.6 as I wanted some shallow depth of field to keep the background a little less distracting. Shutterspeed was 1/1600 on the top image and 1/1000 on the bottom. Focal length was 200mm.

It was nice to get out even for a short walk and shake off some of the winter blues.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 61, 365 Day Project

Today was something a little different for me and I choose to use one of the old cameras from my collection. I have never been one for overly abstract images and have always found them a challenge for me to create. But I have been inspired by other photographer's who are doing them in their Image a Day project, in particular Jonathan Marks (you can find him on facebook). I have been following his 365 day project for a while now and am very impressed.
So inspired, I pulled out my old Polaroid SX-70 and was planning to use some of the "Impossible Project" ( ) film in received recently but to my surprise I still had some original SX-70 film in the camera. I choose my subject matter, a vase of silk tulips that was in the window and started to shoot. Making adjustments and trying different things I went through the last 3 sheets in the camera and liked the results of this one.
After shooting and waiting for the image to process I put it in my Epson V700 scanner switched over for photo's and scanned the image. Made a few tiny adjustments in photoshop and cleaned up some of the spots and thus have today's image.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 60, 365 Day Project

I thought all the information and speakers at a photography conference use to be sensory overload. That is till I went to a presentation to night about how to hire a home renovator. Man I am glad I did not jump in earlier as I realized I am unprepared for the undertaking we would like to do. When we bought our home 8 years ago we had the idea to make a change and add a studio addition where the current garage sits. Over the years the plans have simplified, but I now see that there is a lot more to do once the dream phase is finished. Here are a sampling of the brochures that I picked up tonight. With this information I know it will be a year or so before we finally break ground.
Simple image with the Canon 7D, 24-70 f2.8 @ f4.5, 1/60 sec at 6400 ISO.